Weird to say but I find the grinch quite a relatable character, getting decorations down from the attic, putting the tree up, the cold weather, mince pies, all things I dislike with a passion. Like a lot of people I grew up with the Jim Carrey’s version of The Grinch, besides Carrey’s portrayal of the character I took nothing away from that movie. Years later and we now have Illuminations take on the character. Everyone knows the story of the Grinch, even if this does differ from the Carrey version quite a bit. This is much more close to the original Seuss version, we don’t delve into the Grinch’s past, seeing his childhood, foster parents, childhood crush. Instead this is closer to the original source material, even if it does still differ quite a bit when cringy modern rap songs are in the movie. It’s a shame they tried to make this appeal to modern children instead of people who grew up with the book. It reminded me of the one great scene in 2018’s Peter Rabbit, when the movie uses the style of the book to show Peter’s backstory. Watching illuminations The Grinch just made me wish I was watching the 1966 version.
The Grinch and his loyal dog, Max, live a solitary existence inside a cave on Mount Crumpet. His main source of aggravation comes during Christmastime when his neighbors in Whoville celebrate the holidays with a bang. When the Whos decide to make Christmas bigger and brighter, the disgruntled Grinch realizes there is one way to gain peace and quiet. With help from Max, the green grump hatches a scheme to pose as Santa Claus, steal Christmas and silence the Whos’ holiday cheer once and for all.
Besides the first Despicable me, I’ve never found any of Illuminations works to be good, i’ve never found any of them to be bad either, just average. And that’s what The Grinch is, it’s an average kids movie that doesn’t do anything special but will certainly appeal to the young audience it’s aimed towards. The movie is a whole lot of meh, I found myself laughing once or twice throughout the whole film. However, the movie does capture the essence of Seuss’s book perfectly, though I could have done without the modern day rap songs.
A big complaint I have with this movie is that the Grinch always felt to nice for me. Especially when compared to the vile version Jim Carrey brought to the screen. Of course, he does do some despicable things but I never saw him as the bad guy, in fact I understood why he was doing some of the things he did, especially at the beginning of the movie. He tries to go through his day and everyone in whoville constantly annoys him by saying hello and interacting with him. Any rational person would get annoyed by this, it was hard for me to feel hate towards the character. Which isn’t a good thing when the entire ending revolves around the Grinch becoming good and realising the error of his ways. When in this version he doesn’t have many errors to speak off.
Both this and the 2000 movie have the same issue, trying to adapt a short story into a feature length movie. There’s so much filler in this movie it’s hard not to be bored, it’s so concerned with pushing its message at the audience that it forgets to actually be fun. Christmas is about being with loved ones, and not about the gifs, a tired old message used time and time again in christmas movies. It does boaster some nice visuals but as it is it’s no more than your average kids movie.
Overall, The Grinch probably could have been a better movie if it aimed higher. Only a very young audience will find this movie amusing. The bright, colourful animation is very nice to look at and Benedict Cumberbatch does a good job at voicing the Grinch. It’s just a shame that the movie lacks any originality or humour.
The Grinch (5/10)
Director: Yarrow Cheney/Scott Mosier
Runtime: 86 Minutes